Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
You may not have had a farm loan before, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a credit history. Your credit record includes your credit card information (how much credit you have available on each of them, if you have an outstanding balance, if any of your payments have been late), and other loan information (such as car loans, student loans, or any other mortgages).
If you don’t have a credit history, there are other ways to create one, like getting information from past landlords or service vendors, such as gas and electric companies or telephone companies.
One of the most important parts of a great credit history - always, always, always pay your bills on time. Statistically, it has been proven that if you pay your current loans as you agreed to, you are more likely to pay future loans as agreed to as well. And that’s good news for any lender.
You must have a plan for success. Create a business plan, whether it’s in writing or something you can talk about. This is a blueprint for establishing and then meeting your goals. The plan should include what you want to do, how much money you’ll need, and what ways you’ll repay the money.
If you have never written a business plan, never fear. You can find information about doing them from your local cooperative extension office.
When you talk with a lender about financing, be sure to ask about any special programs or partnership opportunities. We aren’t just lending you money; we want you to look at all funding options to help you succeed. Here are a couple of programs to keep in mind:
- StartRight – this is a MidAtlantic Farm Credit program geared specifically for young, beginning, small and minority farmers. We have low interest term, operating and best management practice loans. You can find more information about this program here.
- Farm Service Agency – offering guaranteed and direct loans to qualifying borrowers.
- Federal or State Funding – USDA and NRCS has several grant programs available. Small Business Administration – the 504 Loan program is a financing program for expanding farms
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Q: What are your interest rates?
A: It depends. This isn’t the answer most people want to hear, but it’s the most honest one. Before a loan officer can quote rates, they need to gather as much information as possible – amount of loan, loan type, desired terms, etc. There is a wide range of rate products that are available depending on your needs. It’s also important to remember that rates change daily (even several times a day for mortgages).
Q: How much are closing costs?
A: It depends. Most closing cost fees are tied to the loan amount, and a purchase has more costs than a refinance. Some of the things that are included in the closing costs are: transfer tax, recording costs (we are exempt in MD), title work, initial escrow (to pay taxes and insurance), appraisal, daily interest (interest from settlement to the first payment) and origination fee.
Q: How much down payment is needed?
A: It depends. There are many different products available that have a wide variety of down payment requirements. For farm loans, the general down payment is 20%. For residential mortgages, it can vary from 0% (depending on program qualifications) up to 20% (in order to avoid mortgage insurance). In general, the more down payment you have, the more likely for both approval and a great rate.
As you can see, the answer to many of these questions is often “it depends.” We look at every loan request as unique and individual. If you have other questions you'd like answered, leave a comment or email email@example.com. In the meantime, look for our next blog listing the 26 factors that go into quoting a rate.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Bob was recognized at the Twelfth Annual Alumni Association Awards Gala held on Saturday, April 14, 2012. Visit Bob’s blog to read his acceptance speech. For more information about the awards, visit http://alumni.umd.edu.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
"Farm Credit supports both large well-established organizations and those who are working towards achieving their goals at the grassroots level," said Christina Bowen, director of national contributions for Farm Credit. "This approach allows us to support the time-tested programs developed by National 4-H Council and the National FFA Foundation as well as innovative new programs being brought to the industry by relative newcomers.
Recipient Natasha Bowens, director and founder of The Color of Food, plans to use Farm Credit's contribution "to elevate the representation of minority farmers across the country, and bring awareness to the racial inequities in the food system while providing opportunities for farmers to access information, resources and support."
The Farm Credit National Contributions Program's application deadline for the second quarter of 2012 is May 31. Qualified applicants are invited to apply today at www.farmcredit.com. Click on the "Apply for Grants and Sponsorships" button.
Farm Credit National Contributions program first-quarter 2012 recipients:
• American Farmland Trust
• AgriNomics Vision 2013 - American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers
• National Value Added Conference - C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at MSU
• The Color of Food
• Commodity Challenge - Center for Farm Financial Management
Source: Agri Marketing - Online - 4/18/12
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
In a statement from Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance, he says, "The documentary highlights the growing importance that top chefs are placing food that comes fresh from the farm and the partnerships that are being formed to ensure consumers are getting the best tasting and most nutritious food possible."
At Farm Credit, we are pleased to have helped underwrite the cost of this program and are excited about it's premiere.
If you'd like to find out why Maryland farmers are rock stars and are the rolling stones of food check out The Maryland Harvest documentary tonight on MPT tonight (April 17) at 9 p.m.
Friday, April 6, 2012
This year's crops for soybeans, corn and peanuts are projected to consume more acreage as compared to last year, according to a press release distributed by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Producers of soybeans are planning to drive up the amount of soybean plantings to 590,000 acres, which would be 30,000 acres more than last year's harvest. The data was gleaned from a survey conducted by the Virginia Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The survey was administered on March 1.
Corn plantings are projected to encompass 500,000 acres, a climb of 10,000 from last year's crops. Growers of peanuts will plant 23,000 acres, which is 7,000 more acres as compared to last year.
But, despite the climbs of that produce, cotton crops will see a reduction in Virginia, an 18 percent decline as compared to last year's figures.
Nationwide, corn planting has gained 4 percent as compared to last year while soybean figures dropped 1 percent. Wheat plantings gained 3 percent and cotton plantings dropped 11 percent.
West Virginia farmers are optimistic about the prospects of a bill that will permit deer farming to join the industry, which is possible by transferring the industry from the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture, according to WBOY.
Ham, turkey, chicken and beef are part of the farming industry thus venison from deer ought to be as well, according to president Steve Toth with the West Virginia Deer Farmers Association. He argues that Pennsylvania last year capitalized on deer meat to the tune of $15 million in revenue so West Virginia ought to be able to do so as well.
"We're controlled by the DNR right now and most other states are controlled by the Department of Agriculture and we consider our deer as livestock," Toth told the news source. "There is a difference between a domestic turkey and a wild turkey so why can't there be the same thing for a deer?"
The West Virginia Extension Service indicated deer farming last year contributed 66 jobs and $1.44 million in sales.
The ability to host a deer farm will serve additional purposes like allowing visitors such as children to pet and feed the deer.